Friday, July 04, 2008

McCully Looks To Pick Up Where He Left Off


Jeffrey Lee: First off, how has your training camp been going with Team Punishment?

Justin McCully: Team Punishment has kind of been disbanded at the moment and everyone is doing there own thing - other than Razor [Rob McCullough] and Da Spyda [Kendall Grove] who are currently sponsored by them. So I put together my own team of trainers bringing back my true brothers Sean McCully, Jason Parillo, and Allan Goes.

JL: After your fight with Antoni Hardonk you had a nagging elbow injury. How is your elbow currently feeling?

JM: As far as I know [it’s] 100% but you never know unti you test it in the line of fire. So I'll tell you after the 5th.

JL: With not fighting since last April, do you think you’ll have any “cage rust” from not fighting in the Octagon for so long?

JM: I’ve had long layoffs in my career, and have always comeback strong. I think it helps build hunger for me and to avoid complacency of just being there. I like the feeling of having something to prove.

JL: How hard was it for you to sit on the sidelines?

JM: Sidelines have never been my favorite place to be. I live for the thrill of competition, it’s the true essence of life.

JL: Back in February, on “Inside MMA” you revealed that you were approached to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 85. Why did the fight against Brock never materialize? Was the bout ever offered to you?

JM: My lips are buttoned on that sorry.

JL: Were you disappointed at all that you weren’t able to fight your original oppnenent, Frank Mir?

JM: Very much so. I went from a quarter main event to a swing bout with what many, and I myself believe to be a tougher match up stylistically. I think Frank and I would have a great fight that the fans would love. I really hope it comes around again. But it’s what Joe Silva wants so that’s what I will do.

JL: Speaking of your opponent, what are your thoughts on Gabriel Gonzaga?

JM: Gonzaga is an amazing warrior. I look forward to testing my skill set against his. We both have explosive power and great technique. No matter what the outcome, the fans are the true winners here.

JL: Obviously, he is coming off two straight losses, are you expecting him to be very aggressive in this fight?

JM: Of course, that's him. He's a bull [and] he'll try to break me early but that’s not going to happen. I’ve got my own plans. I will execute a masterful game plan to please the crowd, and my coaches.

JL: Do you think you’re a better Jiu-Jitsu practitioner than Gonzaga?

JM: I don’t know, I've never rolled with him. But I do know my lineage is fourth generation from the greatest Gracies’ ever. Carlos Gracie the first master of the family to Carlson Gracie, the best Vale Tudo fighter from the family who carried the family on his back for a long time, who also assembled the greatest Jiu-Jitsu competition team ever. Which is when my coach Allan Goes won eight National Championships, never done before nor after. So is it better? We'll see, but I’m confident in my ability.

JL: If you’re able to get past Gonzaga, is there a particular fighter you’d like to fight next?

JM: That’s not for me to decide, I’m just seeing this match right now

JL: What do you say to the critics out there who believe the heavyweight division is the weakest in the UFC?

JM: I'd say where do they get their credential? It may be wide open, but weak? Not even close. We have a great open class, as I like to call it, with phenomenal fighters all within two to three fights away from a title shot. It's a shootout! [It] could possibly be the best heavyweight division the UFC has ever offered its fans.

JL: Lastly, who do you think takes the main event, Rampage or Forrest?

JM: All I can say is wow, what a fight it’s gonna be!



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